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francoisdenis

Sweating problems

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8 hours ago, Ethan Ford Heath said:

Hm... this would be the exact opposite of my advice based on my experience. I liked Helicores on the viola I played from 1990-2015, but they often began breaking after as little as two weeks. And no, it was not the nut, nor the bridge, nor my fingernails. Often the D-string would break under the 3rd finger G (in 1st pos). I had to give up Helicores because my music director was so annoyed by the breaking strings. Dominants last better, but do begin to unravel. Evah Pirazzi Golds, although notorious for beginning to sound dull after a short time, are actually quite physically robust for me. I haven't had one unravel or break.

Well, the lutier uses them on Rentals for People with this Problem. Otherwise he uses Pirastro tonica, and those do not last Long with sweaty Hands. Maybe it is different for violin and viola, or Maybe they changed some of the material?

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Ah, for rental instruments; I had missed that. Possibly the average renter of student instruments does not play 5-8 hours a day, hence does not wear out strings particularly quickly.  But you say in the same service Tonicas don't last... hm, dunno. Where are you? Is this in a city by the ocean, hot, humid, with lots of air pollution? Any of those make not a great environment for strings.

If it's just cello we are talking about, string breaking is pretty rare. Our principal did break one recently, but he's a big, strong guy and bends the cello to his will.

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On 12/20/2019 at 4:57 AM, francoisdenis said:

 

I was away from my laptop since a couple of days and I thanks you all for your advices. I think that the answer could be connected to the pressure and time of playing and acidity. The player damaged the fingerboard very quickly (attached picture) and I had to plan it after only few month of playing. I have some femal players which don't reaches a such result after 20 years....So; wash the hands with high PH soap and less pressure on the fingerboard are my first advise. 

I will say later how it works ....

PS:  I have to say that neither brand of the strings, their lenght and instrument are in cause 

3428CD86-CD58-498B-BF04-E0DDED24D664.JPG

Not a luthier, but that looks like the player is not just hammering the strings down, but dragging them along the fingerboard. Once you hammer down, you must release most of that tension, but not in a way that moves the string so much. Maybe he keeps the tension and is mangling the string as his finger moves from side to side, is what that fingerboard looks like. I'm sure sweat makes the problem even worse, but I bet the windings are breaking because of side to side motion, and that is not good technique. 

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Synthetic polymer-core strings are not going to dissolve or weaken from the mild acidity (pH 4.5 - 7) that could be present from sweat on the surface of human skin. 

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18 minutes ago, Porteroso said:

Not a luthier, but that looks like the player is not just hammering the strings down, but dragging them along the fingerboard. Once you hammer down, you must release most of that tension, but not in a way that moves the string so much. Maybe he keeps the tension and is mangling the string as his finger moves from side to side, is what that fingerboard looks like. I'm sure sweat makes the problem even worse, but I bet the windings are breaking because of side to side motion, and that is not good technique. 

The fingerboard is telling a story, and it's not a good one. 

There is a "rare" type of vibrato where there is a side to side motion, it's very easy for guitar player learning violin to do, it's a nice "trick" but shouldn't be encouraged regularly and certainly shouldn't replace standard technique.

Unless that is some type of ebonized softer hardwood I would say that the fingerboard is speaking to either someone who is self taught or a rather neglectful teacher. A good teacher should have caught this way before even a 1/4 of that trenching began.

There is lots of information that we do not have, but I will say that wear is not normal and suggest someone pressing down WAY harder than needed and yes speaks to some side to side rubbing.

Again a trenched board is an indication of pressing down too hard, once trenched it makes it worse because one has to press even harder 

I would take this guy back to square one and just do G major scales and really just starting with one note, he needs to learn the threshold of pressure required to sound the note, best done by pressing down as normal, and then backing off the pressure until the note does not sound and then slightly increasing the pressure until it does to find the right amount of pressure.

If the fingerboard was not trenched, then I suppose we could go to more exotic speculations as to the reason such as alien acid sweat, but imo the fingerboard says it all.

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1 hour ago, Porteroso said:

Not a luthier, but that looks like the player is not just hammering the strings down, but dragging them along the fingerboard. Once you hammer down, you must release most of that tension, but not in a way that moves the string so much. Maybe he keeps the tension and is mangling the string as his finger moves from side to side, is what that fingerboard looks like. I'm sure sweat makes the problem even worse, but I bet the windings are breaking because of side to side motion, and that is not good technique. 

 

26 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

The fingerboard is telling a story, and it's not a good one. 

There is a "rare" type of vibrato where there is a side to side motion, it's very easy for guitar player learning violin to do, it's a nice "trick" but shouldn't be encouraged regularly and certainly shouldn't replace standard technique.

 ( ... )

If the fingerboard was not trenched, then I suppose we could go to more exotic speculations as to the reason such as alien acid sweat, but imo the fingerboard says it all.

Yes, to both replies. In this case, it is often smaller hands practicing faster passages or larger handed very intensely played and vibrato-ed slow sections, causing this sort of distortion in the fingerboard. During the strike the string is pushed outward during the strike or the player grinds the string into the fingerboard during intense vibrato. I think the latter in this case as there appear to be what look like serrated cuts diagonally across the fingerboard. The string is possibly rolling along the surface which indicates a rougher surface on the strings ( possibly brought on by reactive sweat ) and/ or slightly lower tension strings, which sometimes happens on high-mass strings. A Romberg style cut or a flatter radius on an overly radiused fingerboard can help, hence some very rare "Rombergs" or flattening on ( smaller? and huge - the ones i have seen/ felt ) some viola fingerboards.

The "on fret" or "guitar-style" vibrato can be seen with some players. I have sort of tried an ovoid pattern incorporating the lateral movement across the strings, but it is actually rather difficult because the arm is twisted around in violins and violas. It is easier on cello and there are a few cellists using it. When one desires, really wants, to play a vibrato, the desiree can do amazing things. The key thing is not to overthink the process and just keep doing the model movement until it starts to feel natural. I remember explaining a vibrato in a middle school strings workshop and one kid picked the vibrato up in 5 minutes. It was a very natural cycle without much effort. He was worshiped a bit by his classmates and by the next week all the kids were trying some form of left hand oscillations in the class. 

If he continues to break strings after short periods of time... another "I do not suggest doing this unless you know what you are doing" suggestion offered: Give the young man some micromesh-ish material to smooth out the surface with long light ( do i need to mention, even, unless someone has insights on this ) strokes - a bit - before swapping out the strings. This is relatively easy beacuse it is on the c- string side and can be done holding the instrument like a cello on his lap. Burnish and re-graphite the nut. This will save him some money or a few days, but will making planing the fingerboard a little strange for the shop person later because the blade will feel like it does not catch right away, but it is likely producing a bit of powder. The mesh will wear away the soft spots a bit faster, especially if the fingerboard is moist from the sweat. This fingerboard does look a little soft but the wear on the other string appear to be holding up. The wolfrum ( tungsten ) is  more likely to do more damage than a several dozen strokes of the mesh. Remind him to keep the mesh in a small, sealable plastic bag. 

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Hi Francois! This was me with strings in my late teens and early twenties. Washing my hands well and eating more vegetables and fruit, and less beer and red meat seems the way. An incredible amount of acid used to come off my hands

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4 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

Hi Francois! This was me with strings in my late teens and early twenties. Washing my hands well and eating more vegetables and fruit, and less beer and red meat seems the way. An incredible amount of acid used to come off my hands

So many advises! Somebody ask me a picture . My client just breaks a string yesterday .6D2166F9-696F-4112-BA78-BC363B5BDE57.thumb.jpeg.9d79a6a00f8d516f5fe746edc5e4e77b.jpeg

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